August 2015


Solar Harvesting at Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has installed a 24 kW solar energy system that will provide a quarter of its energy and save it about $7,000 per year.

The state-of-the-art system comprises 80 300-watt solar panels. The energy-saving measures will help power the Central Depot, the epicentre of the Garden's operations, and make it more sustainable. The Central Depot is home to the Garden's horticulture team, nurseries and machinery.

Manager Domain and Infrastructure, Gary Hinchliffe, said the installation is an example of the Garden's focus on reducing waste and maximizing resource recovery.

"We estimate that this new system on the Depot's vast roof-space will pay for itself in less than seven years, which is a great return on investment. In addition, the system will save the equivalent of 11 tonnes of coal being burnt each year in power stations and achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to taking 10 cars off the road each year." This is based on an average car traveling 14,000 kilometres and emiting 2,940 kg of CO2 each year.

The contractor, Apricus, and its partner Ecoinstallers assisted with the challenges of the project including the optimization of panel placement to ensure lengthy exposure to the sun despite the many large and shady trees, and the installation of safety lines to allow for easy inspections of the large-scale installation when needed.

The NSW State Government requires its agencies to undertake energy-efficient projects under the Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP). The system can be expanded at a later date if further funding is made available.





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